The 4 Best Tom Mics – Reviews 2016

best tom mics

Photo by Nathanael Coyne  / CC BY

Tracking drums in the studio or connecting drums to a PA can be very tricky business. There are enough factors that affect the final audio output to make your head dizzy, whether it’s proper drum tuning, mic placement, the type of the drum itself, and so many more.

To reduce the possibility of an occurring headache, you might want to consider equipping yourself with a proper set of drum microphones. These reduce the chance of many types of sound issues, they deliver a better sound, and they work better in a wider specter of positions, making your job much easier. This time around, we’ll focus on the tom region as we bring you our top picks for the 4 best top mics. Check ’em out below.

 

Shure PGA56-XLR

The great thing about Shure is that pretty much every single item they ever made is guaranteed to deliver top-notch performance. As one of the finest mixtures of quality audio and a fair price, we bring you the PGA56-XLR model.

The mic utilizes a swivel joint for convenient placement and versatile positioning, along with a cardioid polar pattern that’s capable of picking up audio directly from the source while rejecting any unwanted noise, and an updated industrial design with black metallic finish and a high-end grille.

Also included in the mix is a drum mount for easy attachment to drum rims and a zipper pouch for convenient transport.

Now in the sonic department, this thing delivers an amazing audio quality. It will capture your drum performance very effectively, giving it extra strength and power, while still retaining the organic vibe of your drumming.

Note that the product is available with a 15-foot XLR-XLR cable for a small extra fee. This is one of the best tom mics on the market.

CAD Audio KBM 412

In the budget friendly department, we’d like you to meet the CAD Audio KBM 412, a very versatile mic for the given price and a top-notch choice for any audio engineer looking to save a few bucks and still retain a quality sound.

This cardioid polar pattern device utilizes a neat frequency response of 30 Hz to 12kHz, and especially shines through when used for drum toms.

The listed frequency response and the microphone’s overall characteristics work very well for capturing the intricacies of drum toms, ranging from smaller mounting toms to larger floor toms. Many users have also praised the device’s ability to work with the big bass drum, so keep that in mind as well.

For the listed price, this is a very good option on all fronts. The sound is strong and natural, the casing is sturdy and reliable, and there’s even a mic clip included in the mix.

This mic works very well for capturing a sound packed with strong mids and basses, while also delivering a quite decent performance with brighter audio outputs. You will get more than you’ve paid for, and that’s saying something. This is a likely contender for the best tom mic for the money.

Audio Technica MB/DK4 Drum-Microphone Pack

Why get a single mic when you can get a whole package? If you find the right retailer, you should be able to buy Audio Technica’s renowned MB DK4 drum microphone pack for as little as $100.

For a set of three quality MB 5k snare and tom mics, a single MB 6k kick mic, three drum-rim microphone mounts and a sturdy carrying case, this is the real deal and a real steal.

The MB 5k microphones are custom-crafted to be used on a snare and drum toms, while MB 6k mics are custom-engineered to be used on a kick drum, meaning that you have the whole set covered.

The package (see full specs) is more oriented towards live performance, so if your primary concern with drum mics is to have a good sound during concerts, the MB DK4 pack is the deal you’ve been looking for.

The versatility of these mics really shines through in live setting, meaning that regardless of your drum kit, these Audio Technica pups will allow you bring out the best in each and every of your drum toms.

Shure PGA DRUM KIT 5

Finally, we bring you the ultimate drum microphone pack, the PGADRUMKIT5. Coming straight from the world’s leading manufacturer of microphones, the package includes a total of five different mics.

Specifically, it features a single PGA52 cardioid dynamic kick drum microphone, a set of three PGA56 cardioid dynamic snare/Tom microphones, a single PGA57 cardioid dynamic instrument microphone, an A25D break-resistant microphone clip, three AP56DM break-resistant drum rim mounts, a convenient pack of five C15J 15-foot (4.6 m) XLR-XLR cables, and a 95F16526 zippered carrying case.

Regardless of the environment, these mics (see full specs) will deliver the best vibe your drum toms can possibly present. They will give your drum kit a voice you never knew was there. They are equally efficient in live setting or in studio surrounding.

Basically, if you’re looking to invest into a single mic set to cover you on all fronts long-term, this is the one you should buy in our humble opinion. In other words, these are the best tom mics period.

“What should I look for when buying mics for drum toms?”

The first thing you should ask yourself is “Do I need these for live gigs, studio recording, or both?” Once you have that question answered, you should realize that live mics are quite easier to find and require less optimization, whereas studio stuff is a tad more tricky. If you need both, you’re in for a real hoot.

There is also another thing we should dedicate a few lines to – mic placement. Regardless of the quality of your microphones, you will need to know how to place them properly to get the best sound out of your tom.  Mere millimeters, let alone inches, can make a world of difference, so you should really do some research on the matter and learn how to place your mics depending on the audio output you want your toms to deliver.

Finally, if you’re looking to get microphones for yourself and not for your studio – get practicing, ’cause that’s the absolute best way to improve your sound, both in live and studio environment. After all, the best tom mics mean diddly squat if you don’t practice. Good luck!

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